I think it's still sinking in that I had once in a lifetime experience last weekend. We were just so spoiled and pampered all weekend, and to have celebrities and the Prime Minister and his wife there because of us, was such a surreal experience. It's been fun to send messages and talk to the other Mums and nominators on Facebook and Instagram over the past week. I'm sure we will be life long friends after going through such a special experience together.
The highlight of the weekend was definitely our morning at Kirribilli House, as we had our stories shared and got to meet the Prime Minister and his wife, and the Barnados ambassadors.
We were lucky that we had a professional photographer taking photos most of the weekend, so I didn't have to worry about pulling out my camera a lot. Thanks to Magdalena Photography for capturing so many special moments for us (Magdelena is in the green on the right).
I'm not into politics at all and I have no doubt that no matter who the Prime Minister is, there will always be people who either love them or hate them. Last weekend that didn't matter though as the Prime Minister, Mr Abbott and his wife so selflessly opened up 'their' home to allow Barnados to promote the amazing work that they do in protecting children from child abuse, and he had no political agenda except to talk about the importance that a mother plays in a child's life.
We often have a laugh about Mr Abbott wearing his 'budgie smugglers' and while we were in Hobart for the state Mother of the Year announcement, we walked past this shop and couldn't stop laughing, so we had to get a photo.
Little did I know what would happen at Kirribilli House a month or so later! I was one of the first to arrive at Kirribilli House with the other three Mums who went on Sunrise (and of course we had to get a selfie!)
Everyone in Australia knows that Mr Abbott is very fit - the media often shows him jogging, swimming (in his budgie smugglers!) or cycling. Because I was so nervous about the whole day, I needed to go to the toilet all morning, so I checked my coat and bag in and then asked to use the toilet. The ladies from Barnados showed me where it was, and as I was coming out I met Mr Abbott as he was coming down the stairs - in his lycra bike shorts! He had a food tray in his hand and was bringing it downstairs and obviously didn't expect anyone to already be there!
He was obviously shocked to see four of us there and he wandered past us in his bike shorts and said 'some people are punctual but I'm obviously not! I'd better get ready!'. We all held it together until he got back up the stairs and then had a great laugh because we did not expect to see the Prime Minister in his lycra! Everyone keeps joking that I should just consider myself lucky that he hadn't just been for a swim, as then he would've been in his budgie smugglers! He looked much better when he was dressed up ready for the announcement! :)
Mr Abbott got a bottle of water and some ice, and Mrs Abbott actually asked someone to get 'the territory' and drove the whole family to the medical centre herself! Dreena and I keep saying what an amazing story it is that they can say that they were in the car with the Prime Ministers wife. I'm sure she would've had a lot of people who work for them who could've taken them, so it's so lovely that she did it herself.
The next day Dreena got a text message from the Prime Minister's office to see how she was and to pass on regards from the Prime Minister and Mrs Abbott. Just a couple of nights ago Dreena and her Mum were at a function which the Prime Minister was going to be at. One of the Prime Minister's staff came over to them before it started and reminded them that they met at Kirribilli House and said that Mr Abbott wanted to say hi when he got there. As soon as he walked in he went straight over to them with his arms out, and called them by name and gave them a big hug. It's so lovely to hear that is so down to earth and lovely and genuinely cares.
We were told that it was time to head to the bus so we could get to the airport, and I needed to use the toilet again, but both of the toilets were occupied. I was getting anxious as I knew they were in a hurry to move the bus as security were trying to get all the gates shut. Mrs Abbott came past and told me there was another toilet I could use. I thought she was talking about the toilet I used first which was kind of hidden away in a wall, because the whole wall had a massive mural on it, and the toilet door was part of the mural.
I told her it was busy, but she said 'oh no we have lots of toilets - there's another one back here' as she unclipped the rope that blocked off the public from their private area of the house, and she took me back to one of their private toilets! Mum then used the same toilet after I did and said she heard Mrs Abbott calling out to the Prime Minister 'I'm just taking the lady to the medical centre sweetheart! See you later!'.
I still can't believe that we were in the home of the Prime Minister and had such a lovely day there. It's lovely to see that they are just 'normal' people.